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Team Racecraft
Working and planning Team a Strategy
By Coach Rick

Racing is on the horizon, and now that we have covered the individual racecraft aspect of race planning, let's talk about Team Racecraft, no less important.

If you are racing with teammates you MUST have at least a ballpark idea of what the plan is.


To keep everything neat and tidy, let's create the:

Team Racecraft checklist


1. Who is racing?

You can't set a plan without knowing which teammates are racing.


2. What is the course profile?

Pretty key since the plan and goals have to be shaped  around the course profile and individual rider strengths.


3. Who are the opponents?

Know who you are racing against.


4. Knowing all the above, we then decide:

What is the team goal?


5. Is there a team road captain? This can be tricky as team hierarchy may not be clear, maybe everyone is about the same ability level, etc etc.

That's fine, in that case so long as everyone knows they have to communicate during the race. 

It can help though to have someone calling the shots rather than having 5 guys making different decisions during the race.


6.. Knowing the above we can then and only then talk about:

The team plan.


Nuts and bolts time.


Is there going to be a protected rider?

How are we going to approach the(if any)climbs or selective portions of the course?

What do we do about early or late breakaway attempts?

What is our strategy for the finish? Leadout, or leadouts?

For instance what if we have 1 guy up the road with 8 and he is not a sprinter, and it's a flat finish?

What do we do then?


Yes, this is a process and not an easy one.

Trying to get a bunch of competitive individuals on the same page can be a puzzle,

but, if done consistently for all team races, planning  becomes easier and more efficient every time out.


So, the team checklist is done and the race plan is in place.

Time to go to work..

The race itself begins to play out and hopefully the plan is solid enough to work and adapt to the race changes as things go along.

It is important to talk to your teammates during the race, particularly if things start to develop that means a decision has to be made, but, with a solid pre race plan in place, you should have covered most contingencies and will have at least a ballpark idea of how to respond.

Also, once the race gets going some riders may feel better than they thought and some may not feel good at all, and you need to convey this to your road captain as that can surely change the plan.


The whole goal of all this is that when the race is over, we don't all stand around the parking lot with a bunch of either puzzled looks or pissed off looks because the plan either was faulty, or even worse, so thin that riders were left on their own not really knowing what to do.

Getting beat is one thing.

Riding around in the same jersey like chickens with their heads cut off is just silly, and can make the whole team thing seem like a waste of time.


Let's talk specifics here.

What you want to have happen:

Achieve the team goals, or at least be satisfied with the way the team rode AS a team. 


What you don't want to have happen:

8 guys got up the road with none of us in there and  the team either had to chase or ended up sprinting for 9th. 

Having the whole field look around and say, those guys in the green and white have to chase, we all have guys in the break. 



This is why a good team plan will cover at best most of the possible things that can happen and how we are going to react.

There are of course many, many variables that can upset the applecart but, it's bike racing, and that's OK.


We just want to avoid that parking lot post race fiasco..;)


Go get em.

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